Few people in Japan prepare Estate Plan NRI survey shows

Tokyo - 25 July 2011

Maneuvering the tax system is the top challenge for those receiving an inheritance.

Early life estate planning will drive demand for tools and solutions.

TOKYO – July 25, 2011 – Nomura Research Institute, Ltd., a leading provider of consulting services and system solutions, today announced the results of a recent survey on estate planning, which found that even though 14.1% of respondents will inherit more than 30 million yen, only 4.2% have prepared a will.

Following the December 2010 implementation of Japan’s “FY2011 Tax Reform”, which reduces the tax exemption amount to 30 million yen from 50 million yen and raises the inheritance tax rate for larger sums, citizens are looking for advice and tools to manage these finances.

Nearly 93.7% of the survey participants have not yet prepared a will, however, 55.8% of those feel that they need to, indicating there is a strong demand for estate planning support in Japan.

Some of the key findings of the survey include:

• Of the respondents who have inherited at least 30 million yen, have more than 10 million yen in assets and were 50 to 79 years of age:

- 34.1% had questions about the tax system, while 24.2% sought advice on matters related to real estate, when they were asked what they wanted to know most about inheriting assets.
- More than 40.5% of survey participants said they turn to a specialist when soliciting estate planning advice, while 25.9% seek aid from magazines and books.
- Of those who have sought advice from estate planning specialists and financial institutions, more than half (56.9%) spoke with a tax consultant.
- 79.3% did not revise their asset allocation when they inherited the assets, giving financial institutions an opportunity to market to this untapped audience.

• Of all the survey respondents, those who have started estate planning, 28.4% began after their mother’s or father’s death, 28.1% started after a natural disaster or accident, and 15.2% initiated planning as a result of poor health.

“As the new regulation of estate planning affects a larger portion of the population, there will be a greater demand for systems and solutions that can support this,” said Shin Kusunoki, Corporate Senior Vice President and Asset Management Systems Division Manager, NRI. “Clients will be looking for advice on estate planning, which provides a great opportunity for financial institutions and service providers to fill that need.”

The survey was answered by more than 48,800 Japanese males and females, 40 to 79 years of age.

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